Limited Validity Period for Labour Market Opinions

Currently, Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) do not necessarily have an expiry date to be used for work permit application. In order to make sure that the LMO represents an accurate assessment of current labour market conditions and provides a sound basis for the evaluation of WP applications, all LMOs now must have expiry dates – maximum of six months from the date of issuance – under “Opinion Expiry Date”.

If a work permit application is submitted with expired LMOs, such work permit application will be refused and the Canadian Border Services Agency will not issue any work permit without a valid (non-expired) LMO.

However, as long as the work permit application is received by Citizenship and Immigration Canada prior to such expiry date, Canadian Border Services Agency will issue a work permit even with expired LMOs. In other words, the LMO expiry date does not affect the processing time needed by CIC after the LMO is submitted with a WP application. The WP may be issued after the LMO expiry date, as long as the application was received before the expiry date.

As a result, concurrent processing in most circumstances, or the processing of a WP application that is pending the receipt of a valid LMO, cannot be allowed for cases in-Canada or overseas any more.

For inland processing, the concurrent processing option will only be allowed for foreign nationals whose work permits will be expiring within two weeks at the time of application. They must provide proof of a valid job offer, as well as proof that the employer has submitted a request to Service Canada for a new LMO. Applications will be initialized and the processing fee will be processed. Applications will be held for two months from the date of receipt, after which a determination to either refuse or approve the work permit will be made.

LMO expiry dates of six months will apply except in the processing of live-in caregiver applications in Quebec.

As of November 28, 2009, new applications received with an LMO containing an opinion expiry date of more than six months after the issuance will be refused and the temporary foreign worker may advise their employer to seek a new LMO. In the case where an LMO has been received by the expiry date prior to November 28, 2009, but is awaiting processing, CIC will process the application. In the case where a WP has awaited processing for such a time that the LMO is no longer current, officers may need to ensure that the temporary foreign worker is still needed.

This information is taken from an interview from February, 2011 interview with Jennifer Roggemann, Immigration Lawyer with Jennifer Roggemann Law Office, a Kitchener Ontario Canada Immigration Law Firm. This article and website provide general information on legal and related matters and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should consult and retain qualified legal professionals in your area to advise you about your particular situation and the law in your jurisdiction as laws vary from province to province, state to state and country to country.